ArtsForge Main Page
Tobin Bio
Tobin's Art Gallery
Tobin's Poetry Index


I Cannot Love You

I cannot love you in a complicated way.
No matter how much my learning imposes itself
like a twelve lane highway on the breast of a hill,
arriving as if from a new world entire, just beyond.
No matter how much my ambition burns
its sun-glint algorithms of steel and glass
in computer-generated realism, just within.
I cannot love you in any way save soul to soul.

I have tried
to balance you against the weights of the world,
to count you like change amid the clutter of my pockets,
to fit you within the rows and columns of the daily crossword,
to judge you before the court of other opinions,
to read you like a news item for relevancy and usefulness.
But I do not love you within the world. I love you before it.
There is you. And there is the world.

My love is a filament of DNA
spiralling through, encoding and decoding,
the building block of life.
Without you nothing earns sense,
nothing gains birth.

My love weaves through the day and night,
binding me to it, but does not mix, nor dilute,
like a poem, faithful to itself
alone, discovering grace in resonance,
reaching past flesh with listening eyes.

My love makes God a verb.
You god me. I god you. We god Us.
It is that simple. Your love remakes me a greater I am.
Love was my Beginning, is Now and ever shall Be,
and all else tumbles out after, Amen.

Fingers of music tap and pulse
between hips, between lines,
between legs that both cling and stabilize,
and my love drills happy holes through my body,
places for you to slide, caught and wanting.

Your prayers gasp and murmur from the top of the sky
and my blood pools to the surface, sex-quilled,
writing its replies on my skin,
making it difficult to walk. You remove me
as I float like an angel through galleries of potential futures.
This is ease. This is breath. This is nourishment, basic and good.

Loving you is what is play within this life of labors,
what is real along this corridor of words,
what is unpretended on this highway of expectations.
Love as simple as soap, as accessible as laughter,
as true as this touch.

But what I say is only a mark on the page,
on the screen, within this other place
of complications. Unwanted complications,
when your mouth opens
into mine.

I Cannot Love You © 2000 by Tobin James Mueller
"Falling Past Love" published by ArtsForge Press.
All rights reserved.